assisted dying bill
Our challenge now is to ensure that the right solution to caring for our elderly and vulnerable, which is investing much more in palliative and holistic end of life care, is not just talked about but implemented.
When my dad first asked us to bring him a Brompton cocktail after two months in the same bed at the specialist respiratory
We would all prefer a pain free death with dignity. But this law is not the way to achieve it. Anyone can have worth and dignity if they have proper care and support - and that's what we should be pushing for. Assisted living not assisted dying.
The Assisted Dying Bill seeks to establish the principle that terminally ill people can be afforded choice and dignity whilst reducing suffering for dying people who want to control how and when they die. It merits support from all sides.
Parliament has the opportunity to re-balance our law in this difficult and sensitive area. Unless we revert to a position of a blanket prohibition of any assistance even for those with a voluntary, clear, settled and informed decision to end their lives, we have to recognise and accept their desire for professional help from medical practitioners rather than amateur help from loved ones.
People who are able to make decisions for themselves already have the right to do so in all other aspects of their healthcare. Campaigners argue that to refuse access to assisted dying is to deny our fundamental right to self determination. Parliament has a duty however, to balance the rights of the individual against the wider impact on others and to consider the unintended harms as well as the benefits.
The Assisted Dying Bill would put in place a framework that would not be progressive for those most in need of care and protection. Pitched as offering empowerment for the many, instead it risks the creation of a more hostile environment for the most vulnerable as the price of comfort for the few.
Prosecutions for assisting or encouraging suicide are very rare indeed and Sir Keir Starmer's remark that during his tenure
The lobby for assisted suicide has had many advantages on its side - not least money and celebrity backers. Doctors, disabled rights activists, and parliaments around the world have all rejected this step, embracing better end-of-life care. The UK Parliament must do the same.
Every person's life has an intrinsic value regardless of circumstance. Whatever they themselves or other people may think of their 'value' to society, and despite any apparent lack of productivity or usefulness, nothing can alter their essential significance as human beings. To agree that some of us are more valuable than others when it comes to being alive would be to cross an ethical Rubicon.